Baltimore school board OKs new GPA for athletes
Beginning next school year, all student athletes in Baltimore City will be required to maintain a 2.0 grade point average to play on an interscholastic sports team. The city school board unanimously approved the requirement Tuesday, following a debate about whether expectations were too low for city school athletes. The 2.0 is the first minimum GPA set in the district and will replace a policy that only requires that athletes not have more than one failing grade. City school officials originally proposed to phase in the requirement to allow athletes to maintain a 1.75 GPA, or a C-, in the 2017-2018 school year, and a 2.0, or C, in 20182019. The “staggered implementation” of the requirement drew backlash from critics who said the 1.75 was unacceptably low – most districts have a 2.0 minimum – and would not position student athletes to meet the 2.3 GPA required by the NCAA to play sports and receive scholarships. The new policy would maintain the requirement that athletes have no more than one failing grade.